If you’re a senior trying to get into hiking and maybe even looking for the best trails in the world to start with, then we’ve got some useful tips that can help make your experience safer and more fun. Hiking is an amazing activity that everyone should try at least once, no matter their age. Some of the best hikes in northern California are those that offer a great show of nature’s beauty, as well as those that have been designated as historical landmarks, such as the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park. It’s not something reserved exclusively for younger people who are constantly on the go. There are plenty of reasons to hike as an older individual, including improved health or just wanting something different to do. Whatever the reason for wanting to take up hiking later in life, below are 7 useful tips you need to know before taking off on your first trip out into nature.
#1. Don’t Try to Take On the World
When you’re an older adult, you must take things slow and easy. You shouldn’t spend hours wandering around looking for your camping spot. Always listen to your body and what it needs at any given time. If going on a long trip will cause major problems with your health later down the road, then skip it entirely for now.
#2. Start Small
For something as strenuous as hiking not to have too much impact on your bones or joints, you should start small from now on out. That means opting for shorter, more scenic trails that can give you a little taste of what’s to come later on. As the months go by, you will end up taking on more difficult trails with longer distances between parking lots and trailheads, but remember to always start small. It will allow your body time to adjust without having too many problems down the road slowly.
#3. Remember Your Medications
You need to make sure you have your medications throughout the day. If you’re planning on going out hiking, then it’s highly advised that you bring along any prescriptions or supplements that are necessary for your health. While most people assume this means only bringing medication, it includes items like inhalers if you’re asthmatic, baby powder to prevent chafing, and other items you need for your daily living.
#4. Make Sure You Have a Backup Plan
When you’re hiking in the great outdoors, it is possible that there might be an emergency. So, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan ready in case your phone or GPS dies on you. Even if you have a full charge, there will be times when weather conditions will take their toll, and they won’t work properly.
#5. Pace Yourself
You have to pace yourself throughout the trip. While it’s always fun to try and see how far you can get in a certain amount of time, it’s much more important that you take your time. Going too fast for someone who hasn’t exercised in years will only result in exhaustion that could have been avoided if they just took things slow instead. So please don’t be impatient when on the trails, especially when others with you might not be able to keep up quite as well.
#6 Pack Smart When You Hit the Trails
It would help if you never hit the trails without proper equipment packed along with you at all times when hiking. This means packing more than just food and water, although those are obviously of the utmost importance when out on the open road for extended periods. Other items you should always pack include a warm coat if it’s chilly outside, matches or lighters to keep yourself warm if the temperatures drop rapidly, best shoes for walking all day and a cell phone with an extra full battery. You don’t want to be without your medications either, so make sure you bring all of those along as well.
#7. Don’t Forget Safety Gear
Lastly, never hit the trails without safety gear and first aid equipment packed into your backpack at all times. Hiking trips can be unpredictable, and that’s what makes them so much fun – there’s always a sense of mystery and excitement that comes along with the unknown. While it might seem overkill for some people, these hiking trips can be dangerous if you’re not prepared to handle any emergency.
In conclusion, there are many important things to remember when heading out on the hiking trails. Most people are an exciting place to be, but it’s always best to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand. Planning out everything beforehand will ensure that you don’t have to worry or panic if anything goes wrong while outdoors where cell phones will be rendered useless. Just remember these seven useful tips, and you’ll have a fun and safe time hiking in no time at all!